Schools that do well in math and science tend to pay teachers in those subjects more than other teachers and—perhaps less intuitively—have larger class sizes, according to a study released this week by a conservative Texas think tank. By analyzing scores on a variety of standardized tests, the Texas Public Policy Foundation identified 39 demographically diverse high schools in the state that have been “achieving success” in math and science performance. The study found that, thanks to incentive or stipend programs, math and science teachers in those schools generally made some $3,000 more per year than other teachers at the schools. All of the so-called “best practice” schools, meanwhile, had larger classes in math and science than the average class-size in those subjects—although the extra percentage amounts to only about two or three students more per class.
Other noteworthy findings: The percentages of math and science teachers at the schools who were working out of field were considerably lower than the statewide averages, and—here’s the kicker—the schools spent only half as much time as other schools on test preparation.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.